Jeffry Toobin, a CNN contributor and writer at The New Yorker, got caught tickling his pickle on a work Zoom call. This wasn’t a situation where he thought he had hung up but hadn’t. Oh no. Toobin was purposefully masturbating during a work call.
He claims he thought he had “muted the video” but left it on “accidentally.” But that’s not believable, because when turning the camera off on Zoom, there is an avatar where the video used to be. How does he expect us to believe he did not check this before deciding to whip out wee Willie? And worse, why is that a good excuse for flogging the dolphin during a work call? Do we need congressional intervention to tell us that being an Army of One on a Zoom call is the wrong thing to do? Do we need a new criminal code for 2020 specifying that hoisting your own petard while attending a conference call is offensive to others? It’s sad that humans can’t just self-police.
Toobin is rabidly anti-Trump as any famous journalist must be. He’s also already well-known for running afoul of the #MeToo crowd when Patty Hearst blasted him for sensationalizing her rape in his book American Heiress in 2018. Fox canceled plans for a movie based on the book after Hearst got through with Toobin.
And now Toobin wants the world to accept that he made a “mistake” and “accidentally” sexually harassed everyone in a Zoom call. That’s what we’re really talking about here. If MeToo has taught me anything it’s that consent matters and if a man exposes himself to anyone without their consent it’s akin to rape. Remember that Louis C.K. was dragged for engaging in this same activity on phone calls with women. So was Harvey Weinstein, who was reported to have sprinkled his house plant in plain view of witnesses.
The issue here really is, why does a guy do this on a work call unless he likes the thrill of getting caught? It’s deviant any way you look at it. This thread by @PixieLauren on Twitter explains the conundrum well. “Jerking off DURING A WORK MEETING is deliberate. He was aware he was participating in a work meeting — this is not in dispute. He thought his camera & mic were off, but he knew he was in a work meeting,” she wrote. “So. Man (with fame, clout, authority) in work meeting pulls out his dick and masturbates, thinking nobody will notice. HOW is that not sexual harassment of the highest magnitude? Consider this question: WHY did he choose to masturbate DURING the meeting?”
She continued, “I’ll tell you why. Because, for men like him, there is an additional thrill in masturbating when people might catch you. An additional thrill to do this during a work meeting. Again: How is that not plainly a choice he made to sexualize his workplace? ON PURPOSE.”
Bingo. This is no different than Charlie Rose or Matt Lauer groping coworkers or having automatic locks installed on the office door. Why should Toobin get a pass because his crime is embarrassing and rather hilarious? It’s still harassment. Every single one of those people on the Zoom call who witnessed it was sexually harassed, if not assaulted.
The Twitter thread goes on to say, “A tactic a lot of harassers and abusers use is to ‘accidentally’ get caught with their dicks out. Oops — just an accident! But they’ve exposed themselves to their victim, just the same. They get the thrill, but they also have plausible deniability.” This is true and any woman who has confronted a man who’s done this to her has heard that excuse. Believe me, I know. (I wish I didn’t, but I do.) Read the whole thread. It’s very insightful.
The hashtag #MeToobin is trending, as it should be, and some of the responses are truly hilarious. For example:
But let’s not forget the seriousness of this situation. This needs to be a firing offense if the big networks are really concerned about making workplace environments sexual harassment-free. I don’t expect he will be fired, but he should be. Ben Shapiro knows what’s up.
The other troubling part of this story is the call itself, which reads like some kind of Deep-State media plotting session. Did anyone catch that? While everyone is distracted by Toobin’s lubin’, the description of this Zoom meeting is going largely uncommented on.
Two people who were on the call told VICE separately that the call was an election simulation featuring many of the New Yorker’s biggest stars: Jane Mayer was playing establishment Republicans; Evan Osnos was Joe Biden, Jelani Cobb was establishment Democrats, Masha Gessen played Donald Trump, Andrew Marantz was the far right, Sue Halpern was left wing democrats, Dexter Filkins was the military, and Jeffrey Toobin playing the courts. There were also a handful of other producers on the call from the New Yorker and WNYC.
An election simulation? What are these people playing at? Coup 2? I’m a reporter and my newsroom doesn’t hold conference calls simulating what we want to happen and gaming different scenarios. We just report what happens. What is the purpose of this “simulation”?
Maybe this is why we lose the media game and we should start doing these simulations and get our narrative together ahead of time, but we’ve literally never even thought of doing this. That’s how honest and naive we are! I think I need to see this Zoom call. In the interest of finding out what the media is doing to undermine our Republic, I think we need the tape (and no one believes this was not being recorded). Let’s see what the media is plotting for November 4. They can edit out the Toobin show. I want to know what Jane Mayer, Masha Gessen, Andrew Marantz, Sue Halpern, Dexter Filkins, and Toobin are cooking up for November.